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The number of Internet users in Latin America and Puerto Rico is growing quickly, because of affordable computers, more broadband availability and interest in applications such as social networking. Those are the main findings of a study conducted by Pyramid Research for Google and cited in The Miami Herald.
Pyramid projected the regional residential base of Internet users would reach 160 million in five years, up from 100 million in 2009.
Although e-mail and Web surfing are popular with Latin American Web users, as they are in other regions, social networking is especially prevalent.
“A lot of people in Latin America use the Internet just to be part of a social network,” said Alexandre Hohagen, Google’s managing director for Latin America, in a statement. “In Brazil, for example, about 80% of Internet users visit these sites to chat with friends, meet new people, exchange music and videos and post photos.”
A separate study conducted in September 2008 by comScore World Metrix confirmed the Pyramid/Google findings. More than eight out of 10 Internet users surveyed in Latin America said they used online social networks.
Leading social networks in Latin America include MySpace, Facebook, Hi5, Orkut and Sonico, according to comScore.
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